George Smitherman,
Deputy Premier and
Minister of Energy
and Infrastructure,
Ontario
 
Toronto, ON, Canada --- (METERING.COM) --- May 18, 2009 - Ontario’s historic Green Energy Act, which is expected to expedite the development of a smart grid as well as boost investment in renewable energy projects and increase conservation, has been passed by the province’s legislature.

The Act is now being sent to the Lieutenant Governor for Royal Assent.

Once in force, the Act, as well as complementary policy and regulations, will provide the government with the necessary tools to ensure Ontario’s place as a renewable energy leader and to create a culture of conservation, assisting homeowners, government, schools and industry in embracing lower energy use.

The Act will offer a wide range of economic opportunities for manufacturing and skilled labor as well as new renewable ventures for Aboriginal communities, farmers and community groups in rural Ontario or for urban dwellers, schools or companies looking to invest in rooftop solar to cut their electricity costs.  

The legislation was the result of consultation with stakeholders, including public comment on its provisions through both legislative hearings and posting on Ontario’s environmental registry.

The implementation of a smart grid to support the development of new renewable energy projects, and prepare Ontario for new technologies like electric cars, is one of the keys in expediting the growth of renewables in the province.

Other key elements of the legislation include the creation of a feed-in tariff system to provide guaranteed prices for renewable energy projects, streamlined approvals for renewable energy projects, opportunities for municipalities and communities to build, own and operate their own renewable energy projects, mandatory (unless waived by the buyer) home energy audits prior to the sale of homes, and conservation targets for local utilities.

“The Green Energy Act will truly set us on the path to a 21st century green economy for Ontario, one that is sustainable, easy on the environment, and focused on the jobs of the future,” said George Smitherman, deputy premier and minister of energy and infrastructure. “We’ll be working hard to ensure Ontario gets every benefit possible from renewable energy and from the efficiency and savings that come from developing a culture of conservation.”

The implementation of the Act is expected to lead to the creation of over 50,000 jobs in the next three years.